Adolf Lu Hitler Rangsa Marak, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator from the NorthEastern state of Meghalaya, believes that a name doesn’t represent the true characteristics of a person and sees no need to change his name.
“I am no dictator and neither am I the namesake of Hitler,” said Marak, explaining that his name was incomplete without his surname. “No one in his assembly constituency has ever questioned me about my name,” he said.
“Parents often name their children after great leaders but sometimes due to ignorance they get fascinated by those personalities,” SN Lamare, a professor of history at the North Eastern Hill University said.
The legislator too admitted that he was an infant when his father fondly named him Adolf Lu Hitler followed by the surname.
“I have never asked my father why he chose this name for me,” said Marak, known more popularly as Hitler and Lulu.
Recently, a shop in Ahmedabad was forced to drop its name (Hitler) after protest by the Jewish and local community and even people outside India. In India, however, the general notion associated with the name Hitler is someone who is a very strict person, as cited by the shop owner in Ahmedabad who said that his partner’s grandfather who was a strict disciplinarian was the inspiration behind his shop’s name.
Although Marak in the past faced some difficulties while travelling abroad, he never faced any problem while travelling in India. “Once when I was travelling from Amsterdam as a minister, I was questioned at the Amsterdam airport about my name on the passport and officials even cross-checked with authorities to confirm my Indian citizenship,” he said.
“Indians are more sensible. We don’t believe a name represents a person’s true character. A person with the name Hitler can be a good person,” Apurba K. Baruah, a political scientist at the North Eastern Hill University, said.